Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Little Christmas Play List

Music is an important part of any celebration. As family and friends gather in your home this holiday season to celebrate the wonder of Christmas or the magic of the new year, tap into some festive tunes — classic and contemporary alike.
Here’s a sampling of what I am listening to this Christmas season:

White Christmas, Frank Sinatra
Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel, Joshua James
Darlin’ (Christmas is Coming), Over the Rhine
I Celebrate the Day, Relient K
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, The Pretenders
I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, Tony Bennett & Antonia Bennett
Gabriel’s Message, Sting
Sleigh Ride, Ella Fitzgerald
Winter Song, Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
Maybe Next Year, Meiko
No Christmas for Me, Zee Avi
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/We Three Kings, Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan
Little Drummer Boy, Jars of Clay
Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Bruce Springsteen
We Three Kings, Sufjan Stevens

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A little trip to the West Coast

On our way to San Fran! 

Taking my son to swim in the Jr. Nationals swim meet. 

Pictures and Stats coming soon! :) 

Good Luck Damon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fun in the Sun!

Save up to 60% on Exclusive Longaberger products during the
Fun In The Sun Sale
that starts today at 11:00am.
30% off all American Valor and 25% off all Fan Favorite items - check out my website, for all of the details.
Sale ends Sunday, the 26th at midnight.
Message me with any questions or if you need me to place your order! Have a Great Day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Tax Day

Sorry all, I could not help myself. 

It can be just this overwhelming for many.  Myself included.  So much paperwork and back-up documentation. 

But, I like to think that since many of us have made less money than in years past, we hopefully could be getting a bit of a refund this year. (Hopefully) 
I for one, will put my refund to good use...I will pay a bill or 2.  Boring I know but it will make me feel better to know that I have one less bill to least for another month.

I hope you too will find the silver lining, in this otherwise daunting time of the year.  You still have a few hours to get those taxes in!  Good Luck!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Home Decor Wednesday Special!

Hi everyone!

I have great news! Longaberger just announced that they are putting the discontinued Artwork on the Wednesday Special this week!  (Perfect timing for a Spring Home Spruce up!)

I am super excited because I was unable to pick up the Poppy prints I had planned to buy before they retired.  Now I will! :)

I hope you find a much coveted print you had wanted to get on the list of those avialable! Don't miss this Special!
It is Weds. April 13th ONLY!

From 11:00am until they sell out on Weds. only!

Jeannine Zito (Click here on Weds to order!)

The artwork is really nice quality. American made, hardwood frames, most are matted and have glass.

Waterfront View- Original price 75.00 sale 37.50
Harbor at Sunset same as above
Contemporary Fruit- 110.00 sale 55.00
Fall Landscape - 64.00 sale- 32.00
Front porch same as above
Peaceful Morning lake view- 54.00 sale 27.00
American Breeze - 75.00 sale 37.50
Peaceful walk (set of two) 169.00 sale- 84.50
Contemporary Circles ( set of two) - 129.00- sale 64.50
Whimsical Frame Mirror 99.00 sale - 49.50
Linen Texture Framed mirror same as above
Orange Poppies ( set of two ) 149.00 sale-74.50
Botanical prints (set of two) 139.00 sale - 69.50
Tropical Fern (set of two ) 149.00 sale - 74.50

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mr. Sun

We have been waiting patiently here in the Chicago Land area for Mr Sun.  He finally made his appearance both yesterday and today.  In fact, today I think we topped 84 degrees! 
(Ok there was bit alot of humidity with that heat)
but still and all, the sun was a welcome sight.

I have finally gotten motivated to finish racking the yard and even fertilized my sad looking grass.  All because, I know that tonight, we are in for some "whopping" storms ahead of an inevitable COLD front. 
Tomorrow we are only expecting a high in the mid 50's.

Weather in this area can change with the snap of your fingers...I should just be grateful that we are not expecting has happened before!

So lets be grateful for the day we had and sing...Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. golden sun, please shine down on me...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tutorial: How to make your own Hot Sauce

Have you ever wondered how to make your own Hot Sauce?!  I have.
This wonderful and entertaining Etsy tutorial will get you started! 

I think this may be one of the first recipes I "whip-up" for some holiday gifts this coming winter!

Homemade gifts are always the BEST!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My List Update

Do you all remember my April Resolution List I made last year?
To refresh you memory, here it is again...

My List:...and how I have managed to do this past year...

1. Start exercising regularly...OK, so I have not exercised too regularly, I have gotten better about making the effort, but I will try to get better about this one.
2. Sew some things for my home, myself, and my family...I have sewn some cute pillows for the family room and have made some table runners for the change of seasons, and I have even started to teach myself how to crochet.  I feel progress has been made with this resolution!  (Yea me!)
3. Have my sewing machine "tuned up" so sewing will be less of a chore...Yes!  Last May I did have my machine tuned up...otherwise I could not have made my new sewing projects!
4. Visit family more often...I have made significant progress with is goal.  I even was able to meet up with and visit my aunts and uncles in Utica, IL last summer.  (Starved Rock State Park)  Since they all live in different parts of the country, I thought this was a great opportunity to reconnect with them and it felt sooooo good.  :)  I have a "Kick a_ _" cool family!
5. Plant my veggie garden and actually "tend" it!  I did it!  I had so many tomatos, and zucchinis, I didn't know what to do with them!
6. Preserve some of the bounty of my garden...I am still finding recipes for this goal, I did, however make TONS of marinara sauce with all of those tomatoes and lots of zucchini bread that I froze and enjoyed throughout the winter :)
7. Plant a wildflower garden in the "way-back" of the yard...A work in progress...I plan to divide some of the plants I managed to propagate and make my wildflower garden bigger.
8. Learn to take better photos...epic FAIL!  I think I will need to get a new camera, mine is just not cooperating lately.  My son's $65 camera seems to take better pictures than my "fancy" one. :(
9. Brush up on my Spanish..FAIL again.  I need to have my kids help me with this one.  They need to MAKE me talk to them in Spanish and then correct me when I mess up.  They just laugh at me.
10. Be more organized!  I think I have improved.  This will always be a work in progress.
11. Spend "quality" time with my family.  YES!  With our swimming schedule as it is, we do get lot of time to be together and we love it! 

I think overall, I have made great strides on my list.  I will continue to work on it and plan to add a few more goals to it this spring and summer.  I'll keep you posted.  Do you have any nagging goals for this year?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sweet Deal!

Enjoy This Sweet Deal!
This great offer is for more than cake!

*Makes serving up side dishes easy and fun!

*Great size Pan for preparing smaller fruit and vegetable trays. 

*Heat and serve tortillas for your next fiesta. 

*Create a nice welcome for guests when you add lotion, soap, shampoo, bubble bath and more. 

*Perfect for upcoming bridal showers and wedding gifts. Encourage those who purchase to write a special message to the happy couple on the unglazed bottom of the pan with a permanent marker. 

*Include your favorite recipe and give it as a gift to a special woman in your life. 

*Buy a set of 2 Pans to make a double-layer cake.

Order your own beautiful Woven Traditions Cake Pan on
Weds. April 6th here.

Here are some other ideas for this very practical piece!...

You may ask yourself, "Self, if I choose to bake a cake in this pan, how am I going to mix up"?
Order your own Longaberger Batter Bowl on Tuesday here!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Early Bird

Photo from BHG

Yes, I plan on being an early bird this year.

I am planning on planting some hearty cool weather plants this week. 
 Lettuce, spinach and some swiss chard is in the works. 
 I have gathered some buckets, pots and window boxes to get a jump on my planting. 
 The key in the Chicago land area at this time of the year, is to keep the containers of plants close to the house to ward off late season frost.

With the insanely high cost of produce in the grocery store these days, I am looking forward to growing and eating some homegrown organic HEALTHY vegetables. 

A healthier, tastier menu will soon be served in the Zito house! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Annual April Pottery Sale


It only happens once a year, our annual 20% Off Pottery Sale. During April, save on dinnerware, cookware, bakeware and more ... everything Woven Traditions! check it out online...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oil Cloth Storage Bin

With Spring on it's way...honestly, I hear it will get here eventually, I am up for a new means of adding some cute means of storage to my cabinets and shelves. 
Time to break out the sewing machine and use some of that really cute fabric I seem to collect. 
Here is a great tutorial I found from Design Sponge to help me out.  Give it a try!  Let me know how your storage bins turn out! 
I will post pictures of mine when I get them done...soon!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Perfect Easter Basket!

This just in...

Longaberger is sharing with us a beautiful basket online this Wednesday.

The Round Potluck Basket in Spring Colors.

This is the same basket being used at the
White House Easter Egg Hunt this year!
This beautiful Basket could also be used to pass bread or rolls at the Easter table, or it could hold plastic ware rolled in napkins on the picnic table.

I will use mine for holding the crocet project I hve been working on FOREVER!

Is there a new baby in the family? Use this Basket to hold the little stuff like booties, socks, onesies or even all the chewie toys!

How about on the kitchen counter filled with fruit, to remind you and the family to choose a Healthy treat?

So many great ideas for this Basket...How will you use yours?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Luck of the Irish Hat!

May the luck of the Irish be bestowed upon those who possess this basket hat!

Can't take any chances these days...order yours Wednesday, and gather up all the luck you have coming to you! :)
This little cutie will not last long on this Special

Weds. only Special.
Order yours early so it will come in time for St. Patties Day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day Sale

Hail To The Chief ... And to everyone who loves incredible products at incredible prices!
Today only from Noon - Midnight, EST, cash in on our
President's Day Sale.

Breaking News!
With the holiday and the nasty weather through the upper Midwest, we are going to keep this sale going for a little while longer ...
until Midnight, EST, on Wednesday, Feb. 23

Visit my Longaberger website,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Online Special February 16th!

I am so excited to share this wonderful prototype special this week! 

 Longaberger has had these wonderful newly designed Olive Plates designed just for this Online Special!

These will be only available on:

 Weds, February 16th from 11:00am until 11:00pm.

Order early to get the color you want!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Braised Chicken

My wonderful hubby made the most beautiful and tasty meal for us last night.

The Braised Chicken idea came from watching Anne Burrell on the Food Network.  He also made roasted baby asparagus and we has some fantastic fresh crusty bread to "sop-up" the juices. 
Heaven on earth!

Get the recipe here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Wish List!

Have you seen the new Wish List from Longaberger?!  It is beautiful and has oodles of new products for your home!  Check it out Here!

Want to have a special basket of your own?  Order here!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Online Sale February 8th and 9th

Don't miss the savings on Tuesday, February 8th on the Wrought Iron Bread Rack. Its three levels can hold everything from bath products to cookbooks in the kitchen.
On Wednesday, February 9th,  just retired Sisters totes and accessories are on sale, one day only! The make-up bag and cell phone case would make great Easter baskets stuffers or gifts with a gift card tucked inside.
By the way, the sale of the Large Sisters Get Away Tote featured in January for $99 in the new Sisters fabrics, has been extended until the end of February. Everyone who has seen this bag in person has loved it. It is huge with great pockets inside to make packing a snap!
Click on the link to go to my website to order or email me if you would like me to order for you!

Longaberger Online

Monday, January 31, 2011

Big Snow Is Coming!!!!

Chicago is about to get about 20 inches of snow by Weds!
We Midwesterners are a hardy breed.  We will make it through this.
Here's how you should act before the white stuff starts falling.
(borrowed from another source...can't remember where)

Don't Freak Out

Take a deep breath. It's going to be alright. I promise. We are adults who live in the modern world and this isn't going to kill you. Sure, you might get stuck in your house for a few days because the villages can't get the plows working, but you will survive. Snow happens every winter, and even though the nightly news wants to make it seem like a very scary and newsworthy thing, it's not. Trust me.

Don't Cancel Anything...yet...

Don't cancel anything tonight because it's actually supposed to start snowing tomorrow. We like to pretend like the science of meteorology is more than asking a Magic 8-Ball some questions and making educated guesses. It's not! Just look at the forecast. "Six to 24 inches." That's a lot of leeway. And they can't tell you when it's going to happen, when it's going to start, or when it's going to stop, exactly. Chicago might even get less...or more...  Yes, the weatherman can be wrong. So don't reschedule all your meetings, nix your dinner date, or cancel school just because we've been told it's going to snow. Wait to see what happens. 
This isn't Georgia afterall, where they don't know what to do when they see a bit of frost on their window.

Don't Get Caught Unprepared

That doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare at all. Make arrangements in case the heavy snowfall ends up affecting your life. Take home those files you might need in case you have to work from home the next day. Call your coworker with the SUV and let her know she might need to pick you up if the roads are nasty. Put the babysitter on notice in case you need someone to take care of the kids. Put all your little ducks in a row—just wait before you make your final decisions. All your planning might be unnecessary.

Don't Buy Bread and Toilet Paper, unless you REALLY need it

Since you're preparing, you might want to hit the supermarket for some food, but don't buy toilet paper, bread, and milk. This is what everyone does, like they're stocking a bomb shelter or something. Even if you are trapped in your house, you will be stuck there for a couple of days max, and even then you can trudge out if you really need to. So, what should you stock up on? Junk food, coffee, booze, and a few frozen dinners in case you need some actual nourishment. But milk, bread, and toilet paper? Please. It's not the worst thing if you have to wipe your bum with some Kleenex. But if you run out of Ben and Jerry's? That could be a tragedy!

Don't Wear Something Stupid

Since we're getting ready, let's talk about your outfit for Tuesday/Wednesday. You want it to be warm. And water resistant. And you'll need heavy socks and some boots. But just cause it's snowy is no excuse to look like a mess. If you end up having to go into work or somewhere outside of the house (other than shoveling the sidewalk) you still have to wear something other than sweatpants (or pajamas). Make sure your long underwear is clean and handy and take your time coming up with a layered look that is both warm and appropriate. Don't get lazy and think, "It's snowing, who cares?" because everyone who sees you will be thinking, "Who is that slob in the snow?"

Lastly, unburry the shovels...just because you will wish you had.

Enjoy your potential day off and snuggle with the kids- after sledding and drinking hot chocolate!  Enjoy the excuse to SLOW DOWN!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

6 Ways to take a Mental Vacation

6 Ways to Take a Mental Vacation
(Reposted from one of my e-mail newsletters)

Sometimes you need to get away, but you don’t have the time or money. Don’t despair: A mental vacation can help reduce your stress.

By Diana Rodriguez

Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Small stressors can quickly add up to major stress and one big stressful event can send you reeling, with no idea of how to start addressing it. If you could just get away for a little stress relief, you know you would be okay. But too few of us have the time — or the money — to run off on an impromptu vacation.

Well, you don’t have to spend a dime or go anywhere other than a quiet spot nearby to take a mental vacation.

Stress Relief: Take Off on a Mental Vacation

If you don’t find a way to reduce stress, your health will pay the price, both mentally and physically. It’s not necessary to get a lengthy massage or head to a beach to relax — you can unwind every day in simple ways and still get a major benefit.

"People who are under a lot of stress have physical problems related to constantly being under stress," says Sally R. Connolly, a social worker and therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. "And if you don’t find ways [to relieve it], even in small periods of time, you can have long-term consequences." It’s crucial to add stress relief to your everyday routine, she says.

Connolly suggests learning techniques to reduce stress and trying to sneak in one or two each day. "Even if it’s five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night, just find time to do that," she says.

Stress Relief: Six Quick Mental Trips

Visualizing a stress-free place and other relaxation techniques are quick and easy ways to help your whole body calm down and give you just the boost you need to get on with your day. Connolly suggests these six ways for you to slip away on a mental vacation to reduce stress:

1. Read a book in bed. Connolly says this is a great escape and can leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to face whatever is outside your bedroom door. Your bed is warm, cozy, comfortable, and a peaceful place for you. It feels luxurious, and getting lost in a good book is a perfect way to forget, then refocus, your own thoughts.

2. Visualize relaxation. Steal a few quiet moments to close your eyes and think of an image that relaxes you — such as the warm sun on your skin and the sound of the ocean, a big country field sprinkled with flowers, or a trickling stream. Connolly suggests thinking back to a time when you felt peaceful and relaxed, and focus on releasing the tension from your toes to your head.

3. Look at pictures from a happy time. Connolly recommends pulling out snapshots from a photo album of a family vacation or a fun dinner with friends. Reflect on your memories of that occasion, and what made it so enjoyable. Spend a few quiet moments reminiscing, and you’ll find yourself more relaxed.

4. Look out a window. Distract yourself by focusing on something other than what’s stressing you. Grab a steaming cup of coffee or tea, close the door, and take a mental break. Do a little people watching, appreciate any birds within view, or enjoy some fluffy clouds rolling by. Allow yourself to daydream for a few minutes.

5. Listen to a relaxation CD. Invest in a couple of these CDs for a short daily escape, says Connolly. You may like to hear chirping birds, rolling waves, or gentle rain — whatever your choice, closing your eyes and listening to these soothing sounds while doing some deep breathing can help you relax and de-stress.

6. Take a walk. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress because it’s a great escape for your mind. Head out for a quiet early morning walk or lace up your sneakers on your lunch break. Walking along a trail, waterfront, or other peaceful place when possible may offer even more relaxation.

Treat yourself to a 5-, 10-, or 20-minute mental vacation each day and train your body to relax and reduce stress — you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after taking just a few luxurious moments all to yourself.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Longaberger Spring Premier 2011

Check out some of the newest Spring Longaberger products to "Spuce-up" your home!

Contact me to order or book your February/March show now!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Celebrate Super Bowl XLV!

Host a Super- Super Bowl
Party this year with the
NFL Collection from Longaberger!

With beautiful baskets and serving pieces that are sure to score a touchdown with your football favorites, you will be the MVP of your party. Here's some handy tips to make the day extra special!
•Commemorate the BIG party by having your guests sign your favorite team lid. You’ll remember all the fun for years to come.

•Place ice in the Pittsburgh Steelers Buffet Basket and position a Woven Traditions® Buffet Bowl filled with delicious White Chicken Chili. Serving Made Easy! •The Green Bay Packers Sport Tray is perfect for sharing refreshing beverages or serving snacks like chips, popcorn and pretzels at the BIG party.

•Headed out to watch the game? Prepare your favorite nacho dip in the Woven Traditions 9”x13” Baking Dish and tote it on top of the Pittsburgh Steelers Medium Market Basket. Tuck chips inside the basket.

•Hosting your fellow Cheeseheads? Support your team while serving cheese and crackers on the Green Bay Packers WoodCrafts Cutting Board.

•The Pittsburgh Steelers Small Berry Basket is a hardworking favorite at a great price. Use by itself to hold cocktail napkins, or combine with a Soft Square Small Bowl to offer party-goers candy, mints, or antacids… depending on how much they enjoy the party!

•Looking for halftime entertainment? The Green Bay Packers TV Time™ Basket perfectly organizes party game essentials like a deck of cards, dice and scoring pads.

•Invite husbands over to tailgate and wives for the basket party. Show off the NFL Lineup products by serving snacks and decorating your home in favorite team colors.

For more great Super Bowl Party ideas and recipes, check out this great website!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The BEST Buffalo Wings EVER!

photo from Food Network
I made these Buffalo Wings last year for the Super Bowl and my family has requested them again for the Packers v Bears game tomorrow.
I am happy to oblige. :) 
Try them yourself!  They are simple yet awesomely tasty!
Alton’s Buffalo Wings

• 12 whole chicken wings (about 3 pounds)

• 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

• 1 small clove garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup hot sauce

• Kosher salt


Place a 6-quart saucepan, with a steamer basket and 1 inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.

Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Use kitchen shears or a knife to separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings in the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay out the wings on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator to dry, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the paper towels on the pan and replace with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven, about 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook 20 to 30 more minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl with the garlic. Pour this along with the hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine. Remove the wings from the oven, transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chip and Dip Bowl with Salsa!

Get ready for the Super Bowl Now!
Order early to get your team's color...
E-mail me or order yours online here on Weds. January 5th!